“First Extraordinary Teleconference Meeting on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic” of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) whose term president is Turkey, was held under the chairmanship of Asuman Erdoğan, Chairperson of the Turkish Delegation to APA, Deputy for Ankara (Justice and Development Party). Prof. Dr. Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the GNAT broadcasted a video message to address participating member countries. 09.07.2020

Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the GNAT emphasized in his message that during the Covid-19 pandemic, they have all experienced together that infectious diseases could turn into a global crisis and affect all humanity, “Over the past seven months, more than ten million people from all continents, races and religions have been infected with this disease and we have lost more than five hundred thousand people. We suffered together and hurt together, but it is not over yet. In this respect, we are obliged to heal our wounds and find the solution together.”

Speaker Şentop expressed that the effects of the pandemic in pschological, sociological, political, economic, commercial, cultural and many other spheres in the coming period will livingly be experienced and pointed out the fact that international relations will not be exempt from the emerging impacts.

Şentop pointed out that in discussions about the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on international relations, sometimes a “protectionist and strong nation state” is placed on one pan of the scale, whereas “strong globalization and more effective international and transnational organizations” are placed on the other” and continued his words:

“In my opinion, we should not only be able to build and maintain a strong state mechanism that can protect its citizens in any situation, but also being aware that the increasingly deepening and spreading regional and global issues can only be addressed through strong multilateralism and cooperation, we have to make our international organizations operate more effectively and more actively.

In other words, although the coronavirus pandemic has increased the importance and the role of nation-states which are the principal actors of the combat, it has once again demonstrated the fact that global cooperation and solidarity of international community are a great need for humanity.

Turkey ranks among the countries that survived the outbreak with the least damage. Thanks to establishing the world’s most comprehensive and cost-effective General Health Insurance system in Turkey, each of our citizens were able to benefit from the highest quality health care during the outbreak. We have proven how convenient the investments in health, medical education and medical research have been and why the investment in health should be at the center of development. Again, we have successfully passed a difficult exam with comprehensive economic and social support packages offered to our citizens.

Turkey has on one hand met the needs of her citizens and on the other come to the aid of friends by sending medical equipment to 134 countries. In line with the principle “The best of people are those who are most beneficial to other people”, we tried to present all our means to the benefit of humanity 

and peoples without any discrimination. Covid-19 reminded us that we are essentially a big family and that we share the same fate and the same future. It has once again demonstrated that we can build our common future only through solidarity and cooperation.”

Muhammed Bakır Galibaf, Speaker of the Islamic Parliament of Iran also sent a message to the meeting. In his message Galibaf stated that, “I wish that the meeting can serve as an important step to carry APA’s goals further and contribute to the prevention of the Covid-19 outbreak and also to the solidarity and cooperation between our member parliaments who aim to rebuild the Asian economy under these extraordinary circumstances which we have been going through.

Economies have been affected the most during the Covid-19 outbreak. In this respect, it is vital to refer to a principled, development focused approach to be able to deal with economic and commercial issues and for this to happen, we must reconsider and review commercial strategies and commerce in order to rebuild economies”.

Asuman Erdoğan, Chairperson of the Turkish Delegation to APA, Deputy for Ankara (Justice and Development Party) indicated in her speech that the countries could only overcome the affects of the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting each other.

Erdoğan underlined the fact that Turkey has shared her experiences and cooperated with all the countries during this period.

Erdoğan stated that Turkey had immediately developed different strategies in order to prevent spreading of the virus and that thanks to the advanced health system, the process has been conducted successfully.

Erdoğan indicated that universal moral values require approaching international help requests without exceptions and acting sensitively to calls from more fragile groups, hence Turkey has been making an effort to help other countries within her capacity.